Vote for the hooch
The results of the Delhi assembly elections are eagerly awaited and speculation is rife not just in the capital but in the entire country about the verdict that could change the face of Indian politics. Despite the fact that many activists and a party that calls itself the anti-corruption party are part of these elections, there have still been reports of election malpractices that raise doubts on how fair these elections have been.
One would assume that post 60 years of Indian Independence, a country that prides itself on being a democracy will be able to ensure that its elections are conducted in a fair manner. Unfortunately, this is far from being a reality as one still hears of votes being bought even in the nation’s capital just a few days before the elections.
Investigations carried out by top media houses have revealed that there has been a free flow of liquor in Delhi prior to the elections in a bid to buy votes. Candidates of both the major parties standing for elections have allegedly indulged in distributing free liquor (desi and branded) in exchange for votes. When a national newspaper contacted liquor vendors in Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, they learnt that alcohol was distributed in many areas including Wazirpur, Pratap Bagh (Model Town), Pandav Nagar (Patparganj), Shahdara, Karawal Nagar, Bhajanpura (Ghonda), Vishwas Nagar, Najafgarh, Vikaspuri, Uttam Nagar and Chanakya Place (Janakpuri), among others.
A national news channel caught candidates of Congress and the BJP on cameras using their offices as liquor safe houses in a bid to bribe voters. The news channel’s report also revealed how liquor was being transported from Haryana and sent to people’s homes in exchange for votes.
Though the government claims that more and more measures are being taken to ensure that there are no malpractices in elections, such reports have time-and-again falsified its claims. Politicians on one hand promise to ensure fair elections, and on the other hand money and ‘gifts’ are doled out to voters. After many years of independence, India’s democratic nature is still in question and voters are left with no choice but to hope that their vote counts against the many that have been bought.